Tough sea­son for se­nior rugby team

Bush Telegraph - - EXPLORE PAHIATUA - By DOC

The late ap­point­ment of coaches for two se­nior teams meant some hard work had to be done to con­firm a com­pet­i­tive premier rugby squad and enough play­ers to com­mit to play­ing re­serves.

Mike (Rambo) Davis gath­ered a youngish group with some ex­pe­ri­ence in key ar­eas with the front row an achilles heel. They played well in all but one game, push­ing all of the other sides hard for 70 min­utes but then the lack of a full bench of qual­ity play­ers re­ally told and scores blew out a lit­tle — close leads be­came losses.

Fin­ish­ing sev­enth in the com­pe­ti­tion didn’t do jus­tice to the work and ef­fort put in by Mike and the squad.

The high­light of their sea­son was the chal­lenge by Bush Rugby for the Cowan Cup, played un­der lights at Eketa¯ huna. Eketa¯ huna rose to the chal­lenge and had to play well to con­tain and then de­feat the near neigh­bours. A big crowd en­joyed the con­test.

Tro­phy win­ners: Bruce Walker Cup — Most Im­proved Back — Ja­mal Ti­a­tia. Bryan Ed­monds Cup — Most Im­proved For­ward — Dan Lock­head. Wayne Satch­well Tro­phy — 3, 2, 1 points — Sam Shaw. Com­mer­cial Ho­tel Tro­phy — MVP — Sam Gam­mie. Bug Ryan Cup — Best On/Off Field — Blair Kerr. Cheety, Doc Lofty Cup — Play­ers’ Player — Sam Gam­mie.

Tommo Bi­dois car­ried on the work of Billy King who got the re­serve team restarted in 2017 and fielded a com­pet­i­tive team with new play­ers join­ing through the sea­son. This team had two high­lights within two weeks. The first was win­ning their di­vi­sion in the Re­serves Com­pe­ti­tion against Glad­stone on fi­nals day. The sec­ond was chal­leng­ing Bush Rugby 3rds for the Buck­ley/O’Brien Cup and win­ning a real humdinger of a match in front of a great crowd at Pahiatua.

Tro­phy win­ners: Best Back — Johnny Os­borne. Best For­ward — Ja­son Rankin. Jonathon McKee Cup — Most Im­proved — Topia Daly.

Club Tro­phy win­ners: McKenna Fam­ily Tro­phy — Most Skilled — Caleb Tahua. Paul Bourke Me­mo­rial — Most Promis­ing U21 — Daniel Gray. Ben­nett Fam­ily Cup — Over­all Con­tri­bu­tion to the club — Tommo Bi­dois. Pres­i­dent’s Medal — who Doc reck­ons did a great job — Tommo Bi­dois.

To cap a great sea­son and prize­giv­ing, life mem­ber­ship went to Mike Davis who has given long ser­vice to the club as player, trea­surer, JAB con­venor, 3rds coach and pre­miers coach. The club also recog­nised the help and sup­port Mike re­ceived from Gaye. Roll on next sea­son.

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